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Gustavus students gets ready to present annual Psycological Research Symposium | The Gustavian Weekly

By Monali Bhakta - Staff Writer | December 9, 2016 | News

Psychological Science Research Symposium

The Psychological Science Research Symposium offers students the ability to share the research they have collected over the fall semester. This on-campus event, taking place from  3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 9 in Beck Hall Torrey Atrium, is a great opportunity for Gustavus students to share their work with fellow members of the psychology department, along with the greater Gustavus community.

The presenters are students from the Statistics and Research Methods 2 and Developmental Psychology courses. Groups of students from these courses will present on the research they collected throughout the semester. Thirty groups of students will present relevant psychology topics. A few of the topics include “Impulse Control in Preschoolers, “Self-efficacy and Self-esteem of Athletes,” and “The Effect of Acute Stress on Attention.” Those are just some of the fascinating issues that will be presented.

“I am excited to present because we have been working so hard the whole semester and we found some surprising and interesting data that we are excited to present to our peers!” – Jennifer Williams

There are countless other topics that will be discussed at this year’s Symposium. For instance, Senior Psychological Sciences Major Mattilan Martin describes what she and her group mates, Casie Carlson, Seagin Jon Clauss and Kaleb Krengel, have prepared. “We are presenting on gender misidentification as a form of stereotype threat…While our study’s results were not significant we still hope to call attention to the broader issue of gender misidentification, and the negative effects it can have,” Martin said. Students aim to take a topic that relates to psychology and implement  it in the real world. As for Martin’s group, they are trying to understand where gender misidentification can be seen in real life, and the impact it has on people.

Jennifer Williams’s presentation, which includes herself, Savannah LaKose, and Liz Jasper is an example of a research presentation with a student relevant topic. They have been studying the impact of multitasking on short term memory recall. This topic is worthwhile to explore this week due to increase in the sometimes already overwhelming workload and activity involvement a typical college student has during the end of the semester. “I am excited to present because we have been working so hard the whole semester and we found some surprising and interesting data that we are excited to present to our peers! This is my first experience with the Symposium so I’m excited to finally get a chance to partake,” Williams said.

One passionate student, Jordan Schwakopf, is taking part in two presentations. The first one consists of herself, Deb Witherspoon, and Micah Bergstrom. Their research studies the effect of group identification on conformity to group consensus information found on social media. Her second project is done by herself with the supervision of Professors Jennifer Ackil and Mark Kruger. Her individual project was focused on looking for predictors of voting behavior in the 2016 Presidential Election, such as emerging Adulthood, pre-existing political attitudes, measures of prejudice, and other personality characteristics. “I’ve put a lot of work and hours into the study for my research apprenticeship, so I’m excited to see it all come together in the final presentation. I don’t mind public speaking, so presenting is going to be fun. I’m really excited about the results of the study, and I can’t wait to share them with the Psychology Department. My future plan is to be a researcher in Social Psychology, hopefully as a professor at a college or university, so of course I’m also grateful that I have an early start with applied research experience that will look good on graduate school applications,” Schwakopf said.